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Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 407

Tuesday 13 July 2021, 12:44

T H A N E Y 

for Dominique, for Thaney

It was your own damn body
they flung you off,
the dafties in charge.
Did they not know
who you were; you who were
never going to die?
You, girl,
shouldering your environment –
marking hearts onto boulders
as you tumulted your way
to the ground.
Thaney loves,
Thaney loves…

One for the ages.
A monument of sorts, for what
was yet to come. You –
arriving by river, girl; swinging
full-bellied on the back of a sea-bird,
ambition flickering on salted mirror.
You who fly through holy nets of ritual –
golden seams gone silted and
airless hills – you knew that.
You always knew –
it was all just wailing and bells.
The marks they’ll never see.
And your own body so full of breath –
underground, reachable as an open
secret that tells you where to land.
So that you remain, needless and
uncommanded. Your coracle
of peach-skin, leaving sin on the shore
for the other ones – voices all fearty
and grave; plateaued and far, far
away now that you’re free. 

Rebecca Sharp 

Note: Traprain Law is where St Thaney / Thenew / Teneu, later St Enoch - was flung off as punishment for being pregnant (with St Mungo).

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

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All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map

Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 406

Friday 9 July 2021, 12:53

Longniddry Bents

Along the Firth of Forth
Between the headland rocks
Are strands of sloping sand.
Above the beach, low dunes.
Below, a shimmering sea
Under a changing sky.

Now blue, now grey, the sky
Is mirrored in the Forth,
On the surface of the sea.
We walk across black rocks,
Across the grassy dunes
Along the length of sand.

Yellow and coal-black sand
Under a gusting sky
Creates the crumbling dunes
Now blowing back and forth.
Remains of shells and rocks
Ground down by rain and sea.

A child runs in the sea,
After playing on the sand.
On waves, white seabirds rock,
Then soar across the sky.
Wind surfers venture forth.
Cars cluster on the dunes.

Grey buckthorn on the dunes
Pewter, like the sea,
As rain drifts down the Forth,
And glistens on the sand
Beneath a glowering sky,
While water pools on rocks.

Molluscs cling to rocks,
Samphire webs the dunes,
Gulls hover in the sky
Then dive into the sea.
Our footprints in the sand
Have washed into the Forth.

Black rocks hem the sea,
Dunes are green above the sand,
A mobile sky colours the Forth.

Morwenna Griffiths

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

For instructions on how to submit your own poems, click here

All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map

Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 405

Wednesday 7 July 2021, 17:47

Silver Circle

Moored boats loll on their aquatic bed.
Air soft, the river’s millpond-ness lulls.
The sun glints off mast-tips
and flickers in deep-current tails,
            the single sign the river moves, twitching like a cat in preyer.

Away out amidst the shammed stillness,
Seamless blue of water cracks
            to ripple silver
As if around a sudden rising spit,
            its imprint,
            a phantom sailboat’s spoor on roiling surface.

It seems to rise from deep,
            deep, this formless form
spangled by evening’s sun.
The disturbance, lucent,
tumbles silver and platinum in the still surface of the tide,
            which itself, in miracle of turning, simulates stillness.

Could this be a shoaling of waves, far from land,
or a frothing of silver darlings,
            their ghostly presence?
Or a mermaid’s ring where, as with faeries,
                        parlous entry may cost untold sorrow?

I watch from over here, high on craig
People on the path below me saunter, cycle, swim
Oblivious to the sight beyond.

And then, the silver circle wanes, is gone,
            surrendered to water’s false innocence
like the promises you make.

Rhoda Neville

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

For instructions on how to submit your own poems, click here

All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map

Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 404

Sunday 4 July 2021, 15:45

To Bute...  

A deep hull cuts across silver,
Glints of life below, spurting up
Like salmon.  

I am on the upper deck.
There is wind in
My pockets and I’m holding
It tightly.  

Hills fall shyly into the
Town. Shopfronts gather
The slipping lines and
Print them on postcards.  

The vessel unfolds itself
To the island; cars and bikes and couples,
Children with pockets
Yearning for seashells.  

A gangway sings with footsteps.
I cannot hear you, but
We are smiling
And there is salt in my hair
Already.

Sian McCluskey

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

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All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map

Welcome on Board (pun intended)

Thursday 1 July 2021, 16:30
StAnza is thrilled to announce the appointment of four new Trustees to our Board, following a successful open-recruitment call. We also wish to take the chance to thank our outgoing trustees for many years of wonderful service to the festival.
 
StAnza co-founder Anna Crowe is amongst those departing, alongside Maureen Jack, Shona Munro, Kathryn Ross and Bob Steel. We cannot thank them enough for the energy, time and commitment they have provided over the years, and wish them well in whichever new ventures they become involved!
 
Yet while we are sad to see such stalwarts of StAnza go, we couldn't have been more pleased with the calibre of applicant we received, and to now welcome Lewis Camley, Marjorie Lotfi, Jane Feaver and Erin McElhinney to StAnza (a new treasurer will be appointed later this summer). As the biographies below illustrate, they bring a vast amount and range of collective and individual skills and experience, which we don't doubt will prove invaluable during exciting times of transition and change at StAnza, and as we look towards and beyond our 25th anniversary festival in 2022.
 
Welcome! Fàilte! Hailsin!
 
 

Lewis Camley

Lewis is a young professional with ten years’ experience working in arts organisations across Scotland, including The Byre Theatre in St Andrews, and in his current role of 5 years as the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s Marketing Manager. At EIBF he contributed to the Festival’s successful digital pivot in 2020 by research, collaboration and initiating online engagement, drawing on his own interests as a digital native. Within the Marketing team he leads the community engagement work, which focuses on bringing arts events and opportunities to deprived areas of Scotland. A devotee of StAnza since his undergraduate days in St Andrews, Lewis says: ‘I admire StAnza’s approach to inclusive, international programming, its commitment to poets, and its deep connection to the local community as well as a global audience. I bring the expertise and energy to supplement and develop these aspects of the Festival.’

 

Dr Jane Feaver

During the 1990s Jane was Assistant Poetry Editor at Faber and Faber and maintains connections with several of the Estates of Faber poets. In 2001, she joined Farms for City Children in Devon. She was taken on initially to raise the £350-£400,000 needed each year, but after six months was promoted to Chief Executive, with continuing responsibility for fundraising and responsibility for about 60 staff. After 5 years she left to work on her writing, and was awarded a PhD from the University of Exeter, remaining a Trustee of FCC. She became a programmer of Dartmoor’s biennial literary festival, Chagword, which received grant funding from Arts Council England, regularly turning a profit. She has recently been a Trustee of Kneehigh Theatre, with special responsibility for equality and diversity. Now living in Edinburgh, and having recently published her fourth novel, Jane feels she ‘could make a committed contribution based on the experience I’ve had, in the literary world and as a Trustee on other charitable boards.’

 

Marjorie Lotfi

Marjorie is the co-founder, Development Director and Board Member of Open Book, a charity that works in community settings across Scotland, using literature to create human connections and amplify marginalized voices. She has proven experience leading third-sector organisations in the areas of strategy, development and delivery, building on a background in engagement and New York corporate law. A poet herself, she draws on personal experience of leaving Iran as a child to help others develop their own voices. She will be stepping down from her current role as Chair of the Wigtown Festival Company Board. Marjorie says that ‘in addition to attending StAnza as an audience member, I’ve read my own work as part of a showcase, been a poet on the TheoArtistry project, led a public writing workshop, run schools workshops several years, and brought our Open Book readers to events. I’ve been involved with StAnza in a variety of roles and am now keen to support its work’ by joining the Board.

 

Erin McElhinney

Erin is the CEO of Truffle Pig, a fundraising and organisational development consultancy. She has worked in the arts and third sector in Scotland for just over 20 years, holding a wide variety of roles – arts journalist; event producer; head of digital and marketing; literature officer with Creative Scotland and now fundraiser – across several artforms: performing arts, literature, theatre, film and digital. She has been an EDI advocate in her personal and professional life for many years, for instance working on the Glasgow Women’s Library on the Equality in Progress project. Erin also offers digital and professional fundraising experience to StAnza, and remarks that ‘Despite being perceived as “small”, the festival’s reach is impressive, with a commitment to using an international lens that brings enormous value to the poetry scene in Scotland; whilst the enthusiastic embracing of cross-artform projects is progressive and exciting.’

Categories: News

Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 403

Wednesday 30 June 2021, 16:55

stickleback inspector

tall reeds and sedges assemble
the loch unlades to its ally river
through rising, clinging mist

grey neck glimpsed by keen alert eyes
nearly hidden, but only nearly
statuesque in knee deep loch

peeking over long, spear like, neb
laser vision to the water
set to detect silver flashes

the imperceptible dip before the launch,
extension to a taller creature, water diamonds
sparkling, cascade back, to plenish the loch

shape shift from parasol to flapping cloak
a professor accentuating a point
casts a black shadow over the water

a flap, or two, maybe a glide
long legs trailing in flight
then undercarriage deployed

feet pushed forward, defence like,
articulated landing gear to the fore
settles by the opposite bank with nary a splosh

the stickleback inspector is changing her beat
stowing her cloak to parasol watch
stoic and Zen and Heron like

Ian McNeish

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

For instructions on how to submit your own poems, click here

All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map
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